NEW ORLEANS — No manner round it. 2017 was a flaming dumpster village for the Knicks.
Phil Jackson re-emphasized his triangle, feuded with Carmelo Anthony, tried to commerce Kristaps Porzingis and was fired. Anthony was shipped to OKC and characterised his finish with the Knicks as a “Stroll By means of Hell.” Derrick Rose went AWOL. Charles Oakley was dragged out of MSG in cuffs. Joakim Noah soaked in two surgical procedures, a PED suspension and roughly one-fourth of a $72 million contract. The truth that the Knicks solely went 33-52 in 2017 is by some means an afterthought.
The excellent news: All this disappointment makes it simpler to show the web page and give attention to the New Yr. So listed below are 4 urged objectives for the Knicks, who fittingly begin 2018 with a file of 18-18 a clear slate of 18s for ’18:
1. ACTUALLY PRACTICE THE PATIENCE YOU’VE PREACHED
There’s been no indication that the brand new entrance workplace tandem of Scott Perry and Steve Mills will abandon their plan to construct slowly. However we’ve heard this earlier than from different regimes and success or failure can result in hasty selections. These can embody a shortsighted roster transfer or firing a coach.
2. KEEP BUILDING AROUND PORZINGIS
He’s nonetheless inconsistent, however the Latvian is the most effective factor the Knicks have going for them. Sadly, there’s no option to predict accidents, however the 22-year-old appears to have discovered from the final two seasons learn how to safely apply himself. He detailed the method on Friday: “For me it’s extraordinarily necessary to get my restoration on daily basis, each hour, each remedy. And I carry weights. I carry weights on daily basis. That’s the important thing for me to remain wholesome and to really feel good on the courtroom. Clearly this yr is way more durable on me than the earlier two seasons, however I feel with all of the issues I’m doing that’s serving to me quite a bit to remain on the courtroom and in addition I feel mentally I feel it’s a bit simpler to push your self by little issues when one thing’s hurting.”
three. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT DRAFT PICK
That doesn’t imply tank. Don’t tank. However do the due diligence on this draft as a result of the choose will in all probability be the one actual option to improve the roster in the summertime. Phil Jackson wasn’t precisely a grinder when it got here to scouting prospects, however he nonetheless deserves credit score for drafting Porzingis. Phrase is Perry has already attended faculty video games and is taking a really shut have a look at all of the potential picks, poring over sport movies. That’s signal.
four. FIND SPEED AND ATHLETICISM
As referenced, the Knicks don’t have many avenues to roster enchancment. Cap area in the summertime of 2018 will in all probability be near zero. However nonetheless the Knicks are able to bettering, the main focus must be on buying gamers who can play uptempo and aggressive. It’s what they’re lacking, greater than something. Jeff Hornacek desires to play quicker, Porzingis would profit from enjoying quicker, and but Tim Hardaway Jr. (who’s out with a stress damage) is the one Knick actually suited to push that sort of tempo.